The "millennial" generation, born between 1980 and 2000, is managing to combine business with pleasure when travelling for work.
According to a study carried out in 2016 by MMGY on US travellers, 81% of millennials associate business trips with a sense of happiness and professional fulfilment. This is also the age range which travels the most, with an average of 7.7 trips per year. 73% of them consider that it is important to make time for leisure on business trips, compared with 46% of baby-boomers and 56% of gen X-ers.
Millennials are the first generation to have grown up with new technologies and have a natural affinity with them. They will use dedicated applications and web services to do business, but have not totally abandoned more traditional practices, in particular when it comes to sitting down with customers. According to a GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index study carried out in 2015, face-to-face meetings happen more frequently than on-line ones.
Thrifty at home, big spenders on trips
When it comes to business trips, a recent Expedia survey revealed that 37% of millennials spent considerable amounts on room service when their expenses were covered by their company, compared with 21% of business travellers aged 45 – 65.
They were, however, more flexible and often prepared to work outside of conventional office hours, particularly in the evening. There was also a tendency among millennials to extend their business trips to add on a leisure aspect.
Travellers staying single for longer
Members of this generation get married and start families on average later than those before them, and therefore have more time for business trips. Statistics published by the Urban Institute indicate that between 2007 and 2012, the birth rate among Americans aged around 20 went down by some 15%, showing that millennial women have the lowest maternity rate of all generations in the USA.
The concept of "bleisure", a portmanteau of business and leisure, is not a new one, and statistics show that 60% of business travellers across all generations extend their professional trips by two days on average to enjoy some leisure time. What sets the millennials apart is that they are more flexible and open to bleisure, mixing the two far more comfortably. This approach benefits both the employee and the customer… and therefore also the company.
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